Tag Archives: Chairman

City of Gary Says Sheraton Project is Neighborhood Stabilization

19 Dec

by Ken Davidson

At last night’s meeting of the Gary Redevelopment Commission, the Board approved a contract for environmental monitoring of the Sheraton Hotel project. The contract was awarded to Shrewsberry and Associates, LLC of Indianapolis. Shrewsberry and Associates has strong ties to State democrats, including former Chairman of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee William Crawford. Crawford came under fire for not disclosing his financial interests with the Firm when he was appointed to Ways and Means. Shrewsberry no longer lists its Board of Directors on its website or in public filings that are readily available.

The original Request for Proposals for the demolition called for the contractor to include asbestos remediation and monitoring within the proposal. This additional cost was calculated into the bids submitted by others who were not aware that the Board would later hire another firm and pay that firm separately.

All of this is not unusual for Gary. Although the above is questionable, at best, the Gazette receives reports of such irregularities on a semi-consistent basis. What makes this proposal astounding is how the City apparently plans to pay for the additional cost. The Gazette has learned that the City has included the Sheraton Property in the 2014 Neighborhood Stabilization Plan.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. Through the purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed, abandoned and short-sale homes, the program’s goals is being realized.

The grant information provided by the City appears to reference this purpose:

[NSP] appropriates $2,717,859 for the purpose of assisting in the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.The grant program is commonly referred to as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

The Times of Northwest Indiana Legal Notice 12-19-2013

The Notice goes on, however, to list the “neighborhood surrounding the old Sheraton Hotel and its adjoining garage located at 465 Broadway” as an area of additional need. The Sheraton is not only a commercial property, it lies in the major commercial zone of the City. Sitting between City Hall and a Township owned office building, the structure is blocks from any residential structure. The neighborhoods that SHOULD receive relief under the program will not receive the funding intended for them. In fact, it seems likely that Gary will end up repaying another very large grant to the Federal Government.

With 10,000 abandoned homes, one would think that every cent of the NSP funds would go toward rehabilitation of residences.

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WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK:IN. Senator Introduces Bill to End Straight Ticket Voting

5 Dec

Reader submitted

Please submit a comment and tell us what you think. If we get enough comments, we will submit them to our local representatives.

Senate Bill 146 was recently sponsored by Senator Mike Delph (R) of Carmel. The bill calls for an end to straight ticket voting in Indiana. Senator Delph believes that a person should vote for an individual candidate, and in doing so, have knowledge of the candidate they are voting for. He also believes that straight ticket voting can put other candidates at an unfair advantage. With the simple push of one button, you can vote for a straight party without having to view every candidate’s name and position without giving your vote much thought or effort. Delph said Senate Bill 146 will likely be assigned to an elections committee in order to be considered. According to Michael Adkins, Chairman of the Hancock County Democratic Party, the bill would not create major changes in voting in Hancock County, and that straight ticket voters would continue to vote straight ticket.
This is not the first attack on straight ticket voting. Earlier this year in March, representatives of the People Before Party Act- Jim Matheson (D) of Utah and Charlie Dent (R) of Pennsylvania introduced H.R. 936 as a means to prevent straight ticket voting in federal elections. The bill amends the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by adding to it- that no state is allowed to provide a voter with the opportunity to indicate the selection of a political party as a representation of the selection of an individual candidate.
Straight ticket voting exists elsewhere, but varies by state. States include: Indiana, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, & West Virginia. In general, straight ticket voting is on the decline in the U.S. The most recent state to abolish straight ticket voting was Wisconsin in 2011.

Pence Makes Multiple Board Appointments

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today named appointees to the Commission on Higher Education, the Horse Racing Commission, the State Ethics Commission, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Commission on Ports, and the Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors.

Commission on Higher Education

Caren B. Whitehouse of Vanderburgh County has been named to the Commission on Higher Education. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Vanderburgh County Medical Society. Whitehouse serves on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Board of Directors, the Healthy Evansville Steering Committee and the Vanderburgh County Perinatal Task Force. She is a graduate of the University of Evansville and Oakland City University. She will serve through June 30, 2015, effective immediately.

Horse Racing Commission

President and Chief Executive Officer of Pillow Logistics George E. Pillow Jr. will serve on the Horse Racing Commission. Previously, Pillow, of Marion County, served as Assistant Executive Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services. Pillow was a 1984 recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash and has been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Indiana State University Hall of Fame. A graduate of Indiana State University, he will serve through September 1, 2015, effective immediately.

State Ethics Commission

Bob Jamison, retired from the New Albany Office of the FBI, Daryl Yost, Director of the Certified Technology Park of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, and James Clevenger, Partner at Wyland, Humphrey, Wagner & Cleveland have been reappointed to the State Ethics Commission. Clevenger will continue to serve in his role as Chairman, and the appointees will serve four-year terms through October 31, 2017, effective immediately.

Indiana Arts Commission

Allen C. Platt III, of Floyd County, will serve on the Indiana Arts Commission through June 30, 2017, effective immediately. Currently Counsel at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Platt is the 2004 recipient of the Arts Council of Southern Indiana’s Heartbeat Award. He is a graduate of Indiana University and Valparaiso University School of Law.

Jonathan Ford, of Vigo County, and Linda S. Levell, of Knox County, have been reappointed to the board and will serve through June 30, 2017.

Commission on Ports

Ramon Arredondo has been named to the Commission on Ports. Arredondo, of Lake County, retired in 2005 as Assistant to the Chairman at NiSource and has extensive experience working in both local and federal government positions. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida. Arredondo will serve through June 30, 2017, effective immediately.

Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors

Patricia Gamble-Moore, of Herron’s Fiduciary Committee, Thomas McGowan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Kite Realty Group Trust, and Lula Porter, Executive Director of the Evansville African American Museum have been reappointed to the Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors, effective immediately.

A Little Democratic Humor for You

30 Oct

by Ken Davidson

 

Seems Rich James has forgotten who pays his salary.  Yesterday he angered Lake County Democratic Boss Thomas McDermott by saying he sounded “almost like a republican.”  McDermott, who actually used to be a republican before he decided it was easier to win as a Democrat, fired back via Facebook:

Rich James calls me a Republican in today’s column. This type of protection, of the status quo, is to be expected of an old guard Democrat, like Rich James. Some people would do anything to go back to the glory days, even compromise their values. For those that speak up, off with their heads! Either that, or just label them a Republican

For purposes of full disclosure, I have to admit that someone sent this to me.  You see, Tom McDermott, who heartily criticized Governor Pence over deleting Facebook posts, deletes any Facebook “friend” who disagrees with him on anything.  His page is a veritable love fest of city employees and democrats who live outside the City of Hammond.

No worries though Chairman, James jumped right back into line today and wrote another peace, love and harmony article about your hand-picked Mayor of Crown Point.  No mention of the fact that Aaron McDermott sits on Crown Point’s Economic Development Corporation.

Former Candidate Alleges Criminal Dirty Politics

25 Oct

By Ken Davidson

 

ralph levi make shocking allegations

Ralph Levi, former Sheriff candidate in Porter County makes some shocking allegations.

Former Porter County Sheriff candidate Ralph Levi has publicly claimed that his opponent’s supporters shot at his home and that his car was vandalized.  On Facebook today Ralph Levi posted the following statement:

 I will not run for Sheriff again in this election. Last Monday (21st) I spoke with Chairman Mike Simpson and Chief Mike Brickner and informed them of my decision. I have been involved with Republican politics for 47 years in Porter County and worked with many of you on various campaigns. I recieved nearly 20,000 votes in the last election but fell far short in a strange year. There are a few things you need to know about the opposition and I hope you tell your friends and push even harder for a Republican win in any office here.  .  .The Lain/Reynolds group of supporters shot my house twice during the campaign. I called the Indiana State Police since I could not trust the County at that point. My car was damaged 3 seperate times including being keyed, hood dented and outside mirror broken off. My wife was followed so closely on State Road 49 when she came home she couldnt see the grill of the marked or unmarked cars behind her. About 100 of my campaign signs were stolen or damaged beyond repair. If that wasnt enough, a Republican North County Councilman urged a lady to file a false police report against me just prior to the election. She personally told me about it and appologized to me months later. He even showed up in a front page newspaper photo while attending the Democratic election celebration for Lain. . .

The Gazette is following up on these allegations and will bring you further details early next week.  We wanted to share these shocking allegations.  The Gazette wishes to make clear that we have not verified the details of these allegations and they are made solely by Ralph Levi.